Dinner At Eight: Today only occasionally are several big stars gathered for a studio-production event--Meryl Streep and Glenn Close plus Jeremy Irons and Wynona Ryder in Bille August's House of the Spirits is the most recent somnambulant example. But the precedent goes back many desperate decades--if 1932's Grand Hotel represented the penultimate MGM star vehicle, in which a taciturn Greta Garbo sparred with a hungry Joan Crawford, then Dinner at Eight, directed by George Cukor in 1933, was the studio's most ambitious drawing-room comedy. A cavalcade of beloved actors--including the pugnacious Wallace Beery, the statuesque-vaudeville-star-turned-retired-nurse-turned-Oscar-winning-movie-actress Marie Dressler, and the insistently chattering, charming newcomer Jean Harlow--adorn George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber's raucous comedy in which the social-climbing hostess orchestrates a disaster of clashing personalities. Dinner At Eight screens at 2 pm in the Horchow Auditorium of the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N Harwood. Tickets are $2-$3. Call 922-1200.
Bernadette Peters: How can you miss this Kewpie-Doll-made-good who remains one of the most in-demand actresses on the New York stage? Bernadette Peters has trespassed on the public consciousness from TV and feature film star (she was hilarious in Steve Martin's The Jerk and terrifically recriminatory in Impromptu, but for the most part, her TV and feature film résumé has been lamentable--does anyone remember her 1981 turn in Heartbeeps, with the late Andy Kaufman ("ya win some, ya lose some" was Peters' world-wise assessment of that gobbler in a recent interview). But who needs the film camera when you have some of the top American and European musical theater composers writing parts just for you? Peters comes to Dallas with all of her rag-dollish lamentations intact. She gives a performance entitled "Another Opening, Another Show" for the greater Dallas section of the National Council of Jewish Women. Peters is also in town to help present Stephen Sondheim with the Algur H. Meadows award on Nov 12. Her performance happens at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora in the Arts District. Tickets are $20-$375. Call 520-ARTS.
Grigory Sokolov: God has been good to internationally acclaimed pianist Grigory Sokolov--ever since the 46-year-old artist won First Prize at the 1966 International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in 1966, his natural flamboyance at the keys has been hailed as "breathtaking," "impulsive," and "volcanic"--but government hasn't. After he conquered the classical music circles of Eastern Europe and toured the great halls of the world under tight security, the next and perhaps most fabled frontier, America, was pulled from his reach by, among other incidents, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and an increased paranoia by Kremlin officials about Russian artists skipping their mother land for greater financial and aesthetic opportunities in the states. For 25 years now, Sokolov has been nothing but a reputation--and, of course, the star of multiple best-selling recordings--to North American audiences. Taking advantages of the enormous changes in Russia and her relationship with the U.S., Sokolov is now booking American appearances, and the Cliburn Concert series has invited the artist for one of his first U.S. recitals. He performs at 8 pm at the Ed Landreth Auditorium on the grounds of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. A one-hour preview performance by Shields-Collins Brary, principal keyboardist for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, happens at 7 pm in the band hall of Ed Landreth. Tickets are $10-$30. Call (817) 335-9000.
Russian Religious Icons From 300 Years: Religious art from any nation is arguably the most detailed, intimate record of that country's history--and therefore often very difficult for world historians to gain access to. The University of Dallas opens an exhibition of Russian religious art which represents several firsts--the first time many of the 50 pieces on display here have been viewed during the last 77 years, when they were stolen from Russian holy places for preservation during the anti-religious Bolshevik Revolution shortly after the turn of the century. Religious Russian Icons From 300 Years reflects the fundamental change which would forever affect the people and politics of Russian existence--the Greek influences of 4th century Byzantium reflected Mediterranean polytheism until seven centuries later, when Russian artists began to mirror the strict Biblical interpretations and epiphanies favored by orthodox Christianity. The images represented here are probably most familiar to Catholics, but anyone who has an interest in the way religious dogma acted as a stealth philosophy beneath the mandates of countless imperialist philosophies should be intrigued. Russian Icons opens Nov 12 and runs through Dec 10 in the Haggar Art Gallery of the University of Dallas, 1845 E Northgate Dr in Irving. It's free, of course. For more information call 721-5194 or 721-5262.